We emailed to Dr. Anil D’ Cruz and he was kind enough to reply back. My Brother in law and I took a flight to Tata Memorial Hospital. We had been told that Dr. Cruz’s OPD happens only on Tuesday & Friday.
This blog post will be a best guideline if you are visiting TMH for the first time.
You will see a lots of people gathering at gate by 6:00 AM in the morning. The guards will let you in at 7:00 AM. If you have luggage with you please ensure you have kept it at a safe place because large bags are not allowed into hospital (via Homi Bhabha Gate).
Right after entering the hospital, the police scans you thoroughly. You then need to wait till 8:00 AM for enquiry counter, they’ll give you the required information for registration.
Registrations start at 8:30 AM where you need to fill the form and pay the deposit. Once you are done with that process you will be given Smartcard. This Smartcard is just like your typical PAN Card. Your entire medical history is logged in and accessed by doctors from anywhere through patient ID.
Once you get the Smartcard done, head to OPDs. OPDs are really busy and you need patience. OPD starts at 9:30 AM but files start piling up from 7:00 AM. So if you are visiting TMH at 9:00 AM for regular check up you probably will end up staying a whole day over there. Between 7:00 am to 9:00 AM you’ll find a queue of approximately hundreds of patients. Calculate a three minute per patient; summing up to a total of 300 minutes. That gives us a straight five hours excluding their break.
The post lunch chronicles
We went to OPD around 8:30 AM and we got our turn at around 12:30 PM. We thought the male doctor out of the two that attended us was Dr.Cruz. But he turned out to be a junior (but very talented). He looked at all my medical history in brief. I think Dr. Cruz came in to the OPD in a while and the junior doctor showed my case to him. He asked for the sclerotherapy treatment.
He said “Of course this young man has whole life to live, he looks fit and fine. Give him a normal life to live.”
“Send him to Dr.Kulkarni. He shall be the one who can take the decision “ He added.
I was told that if Dr. Kulkarni confirms they will go with the Sclerotherapy. I still remember the last words from Dr. Anil D’Cruz, “Don’t worry we will look after you”.
Some learning along with diagnosis
Biggest lesson I have learned in last few years, if someone runs with the problem at your step you have to understand and give reassurance about solution, even if solution is going to take time.
We rushed to Dr Kulkarni (I would like to create a plot here. We literally bugged Dr. Kulkarni in all possible way to clear our doubts during entire process & he has been wonderful human being) It was interventional Radiology department. He is an honorary professor and guided most of the doctors.
He checked my case and said it is possible and they can do. The only concern was to have the procedure in Ahmedabad or Mumbai. He suggested us to see Dr. Rozil Gandhi in Ahmedabad. He suggested to get a tracheostomy started which will require me to get a hole in my throat to help me breathe.There will be an intubation to keep me alive during the treatment ( his is also painful procedure where they fit a tube from the nose to direct throat so if anything happens anywhere I can still keep breathing from the tube).
“It’ll take 3-6 sessions to finish it. If it is tracheostomy, then you will have to bear it for 1 year minimum. It is not as easy thing as it seems. (I had to live with the hole in my throat).“ He added.
He explained us every possibilities in next 15 minutes. Radiology department took over from there. We went to Radiology department and showed the case to Dr. Pankaj. He reviewed my and explained me everything. Let me tell you a funny incident that took place here:
Every OPD has registration desk where you have to register with your card so fees for every consultation gets deducted. The doctor can file his feedback only if the appointment is officially logged. I did not know that for the first time. So, I just waited in queue and went to Dr. Pankaj. He diagnosed me, we had a long discussion about all process. Dr. Kulkarni said machine is not available for treatment and if we want to get it done at TMH then it’ll be only possible after 26th as Dr. Pankaj was not able to fill his findings and all this information in my digital record. All this time, I knew that my medical history was already digitize. I just didn’t realize the process which delayed my treatment.
This was just the beginning
This is how my first visit was at Tata Memorial Hospital had been. We had gone to the hospital presuming that I might get admitted immediately but that was situation. We then decided to get a bus or a train or a flight back to Ahmedabad.
It was a great relief knowing that it was not a cancer.
We were finally home.I was happy to know that my sister’s health was improving slowly.
Stay tuned for the next story to know how TMH works on appointment dates and Finally how they operate.